Visit with me here to commiserate and to celebrate the writing life. Or you can find me over at Heckled by Parrots where life is for the birds… and the dog.

On Editing (and editing and editing)

books

In a couple of months, I will have been freelancing full time for two years. So far the mortgage remains paid and I although I’m definitely struggling, I seem to be making a go of it. I’ve heard it said that with any new business, you really aren’t in the clear until you’ve been up and running for about five years. Writing for a living is no easy feat. I mean, it requires sitting down to write every day. No writer’s block allowed. It also requires something I hadn’t really thought much about before…. A lot of editing.

I think I spend more time editing than I do actually writing. The writing I pull together is varied. I write news pieces, blog posts, content for businesses, articles for magazines and books. All of this writing requires using a variety of voices and styles. Writing the Too Cute books for Animal Planet was a very different project than writing about a local nonprofit for the Press Enterprise. No matter what I’m working on though, all my work has one thing in common. It needs a great deal of editing.

Self-editing is a start. I do at least three edits on a finished piece. There is an immediate read through and edit. Then I read the piece out loud and edit it. This is incredibly helpful to me. I find that the longer I write, the more likely I am to drop words and read my work the way it formulated in my head rather than the way it landed on the page. Then I let the piece sit if possible and read it the next day one more time before I send it in.

This is often not enough. Hiring an editor for big projects is incredibly helpful and definitely worth the money. If you want your clients happy, your prose should be spotless when it’s published. Everyone these days is an editor and almost all writing makes it to a platform where the amateur editor can comment on it online. If you make a mistake, the masses are going to tell you. (And they won’t be kind about it.)

Lately, I’ve added a middle layer to my editing. I was offered a free trial of Grammarly to test and if I was interested review online. I jumped at the chance. Any means of editing help is one less headache for me! Editing programs will probably never be as perfect as several sets of human eyes, but every layer of help is valuable.

Grammarly works incredibly well for my purposes and is a much stronger editor than is found in Word. The plugin to Word is seamless and helpful. However, I find that the online features are more robust than the Word plugin and prefer to login online. To use the program online, you simply copy, paste and hit review. From there, you can toggle back and forth to make your edits on the master or copy and paste the everything into a document when you are finished editing. The only challenge with this for me is that I lose formatting when I cut and paste, so I try to make sure I check my writing before I do any major formatting (italics, bold, headers etc.)

Grammarly checks spelling, which I’ve normally handled by the time I run text through the program. It also takes a meticulous look at grammar usage. I’ve been reminded of a few rules I’ve forgotten, and it has definitely tightened up my sentence structure. You can choose between a variety writing styles. Whether it’s casual, business, academic, technical, or creative in style will influence what the software analyzes. It is also a great way to check for plagiarism and the need for citations.

Grammarly

These are great times to be a writer. Although writers find their work scrutinized more publicly and sometimes ruthlessly than in times past, the tools available are wonderful and getting better.

I love Grammarly because I’ve yet to figure out how to teach the parrots to edit my writing. Until then, I’ll use every helpful resource I can find.

No matter what I do, however, I find that the occasional mistake still slips past me and my assignment editor. Part of surviving as a writer is to be able to let go of these mistakes in print, I think. My memoir was printed with typos, and I’ve even had a few of mistakes slip past NatGeo. I’ve learned not to beat myself up, but to try harder next time. Putting new editing tools in the arsenal certainly  help this goal!

Mothers of Dragons

I slept for 20 hours Sunday into Monday. I have done this before, many times. I tell myself I’m sick, but I wasn’t running a fever. I tell myself I’m hung over, but it takes more than a beer and couple of shots of tequila to knock me off my feet. I reasoned that I must be exhausted, but I had plenty of sleep the nights before. Sometimes I chide myself for being lazy, but I know that lazy people are usually at least upright and watching Lifetime with a bag of Cheetos.

Eventually, my back muscles began to twitch. My hips bones ached despite a pillowtop mattress, despite the fact I turned again and again to ease the pressure. It still wasn’t enough to get me vertical. I rose twice to feed my dogs because it wasn’t their fault and because they came back to bed with me both times. Not that they were a comfort. They just weren’t reason enough to open my eyes and face a few hours of the day.

This is my secret, one I’ve deftly danced around for years with excuses and at times sheer will. I have scars on my wrists, irreparably wounded relationships, abandoned projects and lost loves. Most of my family has no clear idea. My employers have never known, even though I’ve missed days and important deadlines. Most friends just figure I get blue once in a while, that I like to be alone. Sometimes I don’t answer the phone. I’m an artist. That’s just part of the deal, right?

It’s not part of the deal, though. It’s not just me being a temperamental writer. I have real issues with depression and no one knows, in fact most people in my life have no idea. I cringe even writing this. I don’t want you to know either.

I know you care about me. I care about you too. If I know you well enough, chances are that I would do anything for you. If you and I are close, I bet you feel the same, but you can’t help. You’ll want to and I will adore you for your kind words and heartfelt worries. Then I’ll feel bad that I can’t shake it off just for you.

You’ll want to cheer me up, but what you don’t understand is that I’m not sad and I’m not lonely. In fact, I don’t care– about anything– that’s what my depression is like. It’s a beast that steals my breath and desire. It’s worse than sadness. It’s as heavy as apathy and makes me wish for a little more nothing. You can’t kill this dragon for me, not with love, advice or experience. I am the mother of this dragon. It isn’t yours to understand or lay to rest.

Honestly, I don’t always manage it well, this beast that coils through my intestines and rests its heavy head on my heart. So far though, I always get back up eventually. Sometimes I’m a little worse for wear for the battle, but I’ve learned a few things over the last 25 years. I know how to survive.

I know that love, booze, sex, money and even success are not the sword that slays this damn thing. There is no “if only” that ends depression. You prepare and you fight. This is a hero’s journey and no one bests a dragon if they aren’t in fighting shape. Walking outside, exercise, meditating, eating right, staying sober, completing small meaningful tasks are all things that let the light back in. The bitch of it is though, that you have to get up and convince yourself to do those things again every day you’re waging war. There may be long stretches of truce, but it’s chronic. It comes back. I know I have to get up and do it again and if I fall to tell myself that it’s okay, but then try again tomorrow. And if it ever gets bad enough, I know I’ll have to be medicated. Still, this is a personal war.

So why am I even telling you? I’m telling you because in a world cushioned with a layer of social media it has gotten even easier to cover my tracks. A witty post, a stunning photo of a falcon, the recounting of a kind review or a wry joke and my life seems pretty awesome. Actually, my life is awesome, but dragons arrive in good times and bad. They don’t care. Either way they lay the landscape to waste. I’m telling you because in one of the worst bouts of depression I’ve had in a decade, I realized that I’m probably not the only one with a dragon in the room. I’m not the only one with secrets.

I’m telling you because, if by chance, you have you have your own dragon and think you won’t survive another battle with it, I want you to keep fighting. I want you to know that you are not the only one. Stand fast, brave knight. I can see the first light of dawn from here. Let’s watch the sunrise together and give it another go, shall we?

May 12 Check In: Finances, Mentoring and Writer Peers

California PoppiesOne of the problems with freelance writing full-time is that there isn’t a whole lot of room to be sick or even just feeling poorly for that matter. I don’t write well when I can’t focus – in fact, I don’t write at all. I was having some trouble with the upright position and holding down food this week, so my focus took a hit. This week was a bit of a wash, minus a few blog posts and bits and pieces.

Here, I suppose is a perfect example of why you MUST have a good chunk of money in your bank account to weather this kind of working life. (Which I don’t, but I am making it a priority.) You don’t really have room for weeks that are hard fought writing when you are freelancing.  I suppose another way to help is to have paid work that doesn’t take so much brain space. It’s not a bad idea to have some lesser paying jobs that require less brain space and are more tedious. (Another thing I should probably make a priority.) No work means – no money. No one is paying for sick time if you take it.

So now that I’m back up to speed, I’m hoping I can have a double-time week.  Next week I hope, will look like I’m going gangbusters writing.

Writing Derailments:

Feeling ill absolutely destroyed my writing week. I also think I’m having some major issues believing the nearly-finished novel that’s on my desk is good enough to finish, but I’ll finish it. This is what I would tell my amazing students in my memoir class… the most important thing you can do is finish your work. If it’s awful, if it’s not as good as what you have written before, so be it. You can’t learn and grow to your best potential as a writer if you don’t finish what you start.

Writing Highlights:

Looks like there is a contract in the works to do a Puppy Bowl book in the same vein as the TOO CUTE! Kittens and TOO CUTE!: Puppies books I finished recently. That will be a spectacularly fun project! I love looking at photos of adorable baby animals and storyboarding them!!

We are coming up on my last week of the memoir class I’ve been teaching at the Banning Library and I am so in love with my students. I am see some of the most heartfelt and heart-risking work I’ve ever read come of this my ten-week class and am both in awe and inspired by the women who have been trusting me with their stories. Bravo ladies!!

I was equally in adoration of my tiny writing group of three trusted friends. We met this week and I felt refreshed and ready to get back to the page afterwards. If you don’t have a close group of writers who you trust with your work, find them!! I firmly believe great writers find peers who inspire, encourage and push them to take their writing to the next level.

So, Face the page, Brave Writers! Until next week….

Also check out this week’s post on the Inlandia blog on landscape as inspiration.

May 4 Writing Check In: Fires, Masterchef and Big News

As I start my weekly blog post over on the Inlandia Literary Journey’s blog, it occurred to me that sometimes the most encouraging thing to a writer is to see that they aren’t the only one struggling. It seems to me that the fight and the struggle to get the work done never goes away. At least not for me. I hear that some people simple sit down and write when they are supposed to be writing. I often wish I were them, even if they are mythical creatures. So here begins my first check in for my writing week.

I have plenty of deadlines that are looming, yet on Sunday, I wrote the first short story I’ve written in almost a year. I meant it to be a 500 word exercise, but in the end found myself hours later, holding a short story. I came back to it several times over the week, revising and then sent it out for submission on Firday. I’d be really proud about this if I didn’t have a proposal for a literary nonfiction book to rewrite and three chapters left of a novel I’ve been working on for five years. I hate that I do that sometimes. I hate it when I don’t finish things, but I try to forgive myself for at least getting something done. I really love this short story. Chances are it needs some more distance and tinkering, but it’s still counts as an accomplishment. Can you hear me trying to convince myself? I am trying to get better about forgiving and encouraging myself. I’m not very good at that:

Writing Derailments:

On Tuesday I was finally given permission to announce that I’m a top 100 finalist competing on MasterChef. To my surprise the press release and the reality of it sent me into a state of anxiety. I’ll write about it someday, but this week all I could do was pace around the house muttering “I don’t want to be on TV. I don’t want to be on TV.”

On Wednesday, Banning caught on fire, a big blazing 2000 acre swathe of wilderness behind my house, threatening friends and ravishing my hiking/hunting wilderness. It was hard to think about anything else, but the fire.

Neither of these things are good reasons not to get writing done, but here I am.

Writing Highlights:

I learned a ton about memory studies while working on a blog for NatGeo’s show Brain Games. I love this show! If you aren’t watching it, you should be!

The best moment of the week however, was signing a contract that I have been waiting on since the beginning of the year. I’m excited to be (ghost)writing a memoir about Judy Fridono and her magical and inspirational surfdog/fundraising champ Ricochet. In fact, I’m going to go see Ricochet surf on Sunday while ESPN films.

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YouTube Direkt

Of course…. I still have to write it, right! Here’s hoping for a more productive week and wishing you the same.

Face the page, Brave Writers! I’ll meet you there.

Writing Fulltime: 8 Tips to Survival

When the Sky Falls

I quit my job a year ago to write fulltime.

What was I thinking?

Honestly, I figured I would be back in the workforce again by now. Who really believes they can write for a living? Not me. In fact, I don’t do it well most days. When my friends who are writers tell me that they talk about me as someone who doesn’t just write, but does it professionally, makes a living and is prolific, I wonder who they are talking about.  Have they seen how many times a day I post to Facebook and Twitter?

Yet here I am a year later and I’m struggling, but deliriously happy and keeping a roof over my head. I am teaching a memoir workshop starting next week, have a new parrot training book coming out in May, a three-book contract with Animal Planet for tie-in books to Too Cute, am blogging for Nat Geo TV, crime reporting locally, editing a magazine for the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, writing copy for various businesses, been published in a gorgeous anthology on women’s rights and reproductive health, returned to my Alma Mater to speak at Writers Week, am inches from finishing a high concept speculative fiction novel I’ve been working on for 5 years and was filmed for a very popular reality TV cooking show with my falcon (it will air in June. Shhh. I’m not allowed to talk about it yet).

For the love of the falconry gods, just rereading that list stuns me. Those are not the things I expected to tell you in a year. It’s been amazing, but I’ve learned a lot in the last year. I’ve freelanced fulltime in the past, but times have changed a great deal even in the eight years since I struggled at it last. I’m no expert, by any means, but here are a few things I would say if you truly want to write for a living (And remember I hack write too… I’m not just a literary writer. If I find it interesting and it pays, I’m probably not above writing it.). All the same, this is the advice I would give you over shots of tequila.

  1. Be flexible. You’re not going to pay your bills with the gigs you imagine getting. You’ll pay your bills with the gigs you get and they will be crazy cool, but you can’t guess what they will be yet.
  2. Knock on every door. Try, apply, investigate everything. See above. Even if you have a few gigs, keep doing this. Your jobs will be fluid and unpredictable.
  3. Ask for help. I have courage, a place to work/ do workshops and several of my gigs because friends and family either made it happen or set me up to make it happen for myself. The relationships you build are the djinn in your lamp. Cherish them and don’t be afraid to rub the lamp if you need a wish to come true.
  4. You’re going to screw up. Let it go. You’re probably going to fail to meet some deadlines, bomb at projects you think you are perfect for and hate things you thought you were going to love. Say you’re sorry. Mean it. Remain professional. Move on.
  5. Be grateful. Say thank you. In fact, don’t just say thank you, explain why you are thankful and amazed and in love with any project you get. Tell people who have been amazing to work with exactly why you would work with them again and again. These people are rare and you were lucky to get to work with them, trust me! Editors and clients are people too. We all like to work with people who appreciate us.
  6. Forgive yourself. Writing every day and looking for work is hard. You’re going to be worthless some days. Beating yourself up doesn’t help. It just gives you something else to do instead of writing. Let it go and try again tomorrow.
  7. Balance your life. Surely you decided to write for a living because what you wanted was time and to live life engaged. Don’t forget that writing and ideas originate on long walks, hours on the elliptical, day-long drives, solitude and soaking up other amazing art. More gets done when you give yourself room to do less.
  8. Give back. Say something supportive, kind and genuine to someone in person and online every day. When you are asked, smile and patiently answer a few questions that now sound silly, but are the exact ones you asked mentors ten years ago. Find ways to teach and encourage others who are writing. This is where you will find more inspiration and motivation than any place else.

I’m not going to pretend like this has been an easy year. I’ve done battle with more demons than I remember having. They scream at you when you are taking risks that may change the way you see the world. They wake you up at night. Your biggest challenge is going to be the voices in your head.

So what do you do about the voices? Don’t entirely discount them. They’ve saved your ass many a time, after all, but don’t let them dictate. Face them the way you would anyone who cares about you, but is coming from the wrong place. Hear them out. If there is something positive you can take from them, use it! Understand where they are coming from. Love them if they are coming from a place they earned or tell them to shut the fuck up if they spouting hate, but either way, listen to the person you are now, at the moment. He/She is the one who needs your support. Your voice, brave and in the now, is the one that counts the most. Listen. Encourage. Console. Cheer-lead for what you want, because believe me, you deserve it!

Now, back to those deadlines I’ve missed and am about to miss. There is a crazy amount of work on my desk, but all of it is fascinating and worth writing about and I am so very grateful. This is the life I wanted. I hope you are living yours as well.

Write-Cation Day One

I knew when I won the week-long stay in Sedona, Arizona exactly what I would do with it…. WRITE. I would consider it a free writer’s retreat, a gift from my recalcitrant muse. “Here. Have a pretty place to write. Now quite effing whining to me and do it yourself.”

So here I am, the second day here, trying to write. Writing is not easy, no matter how beautiful the place, how free of distractions, how desperately you want the novel to be finished. I’m trying though…

Yesterday, I got groceries. I took a few minutes to marvel over the amazing red rocks. I took a long bath in the gloriously large tub in the condo where I’m staying. I ate food I probably shouldn’t have and consumed a crazy amount of caffeine.I took a nap. And ultimately I went to bed early.

The writing just wasn’t coming. Where to start? How to finish a book begging to be finished, but determined not to end? I doodled on the first page of a Moleskine my good friend Jessica Lawrence sent me in a package of New Year’s goodies, thinking about how strangely the same beginnings and endings can be. Then I took my newly decorated notebook, a pen and the manuscript and re-read the first 60,000 words of my novel. I let go of the fact I should be writing and read instead.

I treated it like another author’s book and jotted down sentences that caught me as I wrote, not so much as encouragement, be re-embracing the heart of the story. The lines were ones like these, no so much graceful prose as moments I found myself caught up in again:

  • “Quit being a cowboy, McClane, I’ve got this.”
  • “My heart in the belly of this new world, I felt myself still and let go.”
  • “Hunting required energy. Energy required calories. These were the new and wickedly simple mathematics of my life.”
  • “I’ve always suspected that you were my Bolson,” Branson said, but he wasn’t smiling.
  • “This place is wilder than I imagined. I think we are wilder than I imagined.”

Writing a book is a long relationship for me, a relationship that sometimes doesn’t a make it. Sometimes I fall out of love. There are at least four half-finished book manuscripts languishing in my file cabinet. Not every manuscript survives the tumult of living with me.

All the same, twice while I was re-reading this partial novel, Park West, I found myself in tears. I fell in love again with the story I am trying to write and I was so very relieved by this. I don’t know if anyone else will cry, or love those same words and moments in my Moleskine and honestly I don’t care. It doesn’t belong to you yet. For now, it is wholly and completely mine. Right now it’s a story I’m telling myself. I wonder why we as writer’s don’t spend more time enjoying this place, these few minutes when we can be jealous lovers.

I only wrote a few sentences yesterday, but for me the bigger part of writing a book happens off the page. I’m here now, though. I’m writing a story I’m going to finish.

 

A Season in the Chaparral

Trying to jot down the last three months of morning walk/runs in a journal, it occurred that I had already accounted for a season’s worth of my early hours on Twitter. Here it is in journal form, although I know many of you followed along….

April 10
Some walks are better than others. The view from the walk 10 minutes up the road:

 

April 28
Past the cemetery. After the smoke bush. Beyond the point where you turn down your iPod & listen for rattlers. At the palo verde. Meet you there.

 

May 1
AM jog in the clouds, story ideas thrumming, music swelling, kite ascends from beneath a bluff, halting to hover above me, perfection.

 

May 2
Jogged home with a fist full of wild white sage, leaves turned silver-side w/ dew, thinking all good things in California smell like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 10
Walking this AM, the dog and I paused to put the moon to bed…

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 15
Wish wildflower season lasted all year… #californiachaparral

 

May 16
Tempting, but picking Jimson weed on the morning run is probably ill-advised…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 22
That moment when you look up and thank the dog for nudging you out of bed and dragging you up the hill.

 

May 25
Last kiss of spring rain drawn in by the chaparral and exhaled smelling of iron, citrus, licorice and gratitude. #morningrun

 

May 27
Oh, tempestuous, achingly changeable May. You and September are my favorite months. #MonthsofFey

 

May 28
A silent rattlesnake beneath a gumtree thrumming with bees. Today feels dangerous. Be careful out there, lovelies!


May 30
Just a girl and her dog.

 June 6
How exactly is it that they know I’ll probably feed them? #waitingoutsidemywindow

 

June 12
Bear foot and likely looking for a way into to the honey.

 

June 14
One of those mornings when the universe says, “Quit chasing hawks. Now, follow the ravens into the wilderness…”

 

June 17
The bee yard that is the halfway mark on my jog was empty of hives, making me wonder if I wasted my Spring. #seasonschange

 

June 18
Cabbage moths and Jimson weed, flaring white. Faded memories, crystallizing under the strengthening nearly-summer sun.

 


 

 

 

June 19
The foreign lines of a native bee discovered at the center of an evening primrose make me feel that I belong here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

****************

And so on to Summer. May it be as beautiful and treacherous and full of possibilities as the Spring.

xx -R

One Season

A bit of the manuscript I’m writing, a bit of which I have been pondering all weekend.

My house is a fifteen minute walk from a wilderness that starts at 3,000 feet in the chaparral and leads all the way to the heavy pines of Big Bear Mountain. It would be more than a week’s hike to reach its pinnacle, but even a dabbling walk is wild enough to reset your soul. It is one of the things I love the best about this place. And I knew it was a piece of the cure. The thing about cures, though, is that the best ones are hard work. Fortunately, the dog was a steadfast believer in the possibilities of a morning walk and I believed it was my responsibility to not disappoint the dog.

Every season, every year is its own. Nothing in life resets, rolls back up for a repeat. Even the worst seasons offer moments you have no choice but to cherish because they flare, fast enough to sear a memory and not slow enough to keep. Whatever was waiting to be found in the chaparral was this year’s revelation, set in its time. So I started to walk it and to look, to think and to believe that there were answers in newly discovered wildflowers and the weather-shifted paint of a fresh sky. I hoped that the run back from the hills would sweat out the emotional aches and replace them with ones you could feel healing.

And for the first week I ached, but when a coyote paused to meet my eyes, I remembered what was worth seeing in the foothills. What happens around you when you aren’t looking is always bigger than you are.

For a few weeks the palm-sized cottontails, still young enough to wonder, greeted us on the dirt road, nearly close enough to touch. A tiny squirrel, discombobulated by the size of his new world, stumbled into the leashed bird dog before escaping and setting off an insatiable canine desire to put nose to chaparral.  The dog and I strained toward all in our path. Then the young animals began to shy and we found the first small carcass, proof of the inevitable shift. My troubles were so much smaller than so many hopeful beginnings and their endless luck or permanent failure.

…Keep walking,friends, even if you don’t know the way. xxRebecca

Tuesday Trigger: Alone in a Car

Police find a woman dead and alone in her car on Monday and a man slumped over dead in his car on Friday. Related? Coincidence? In fiction, this would never be a coincidence. So this week’s writing prompt is to link these two stories. How are this man and woman related and how did they die?

DESERT HOT SPRINGS — A woman was found dead Monday in the passenger seat of a vehicle in Desert Hot Springs, and police are looking for anyone who saw her earlier in the day.

Valerie Joyce Joseph, 65, of Palm Springs died in the parking lot of Arco and ampm, 12-775 Palm Drive, according to police and the Riverside County coroner’s office. She was pronounced dead at 5:43 p.m. Monday.

Police deemed her death suspicious because she was found in the vehicle’s passenger seat, Cmdr. Kate Singer said.

Read the whole thing here.

 

On Friday, May 25, 2012, at 8:18 p.m., officers from the Coachella Police Department responded to a suspicious circumstances call regarding a male slumped behind the wheel of a vehicle parked in the 400 block of Orchard Street in Coachella. Upon arrival, officers located a male adult deceased in the vehicle. Thermal Station investigators responded and assumed the investigation. At this time the investigation is being treated as a suspicious death.

Read the whole thing here.

Writers Need Friends

Being an artist is hard. I don’t have to tell you that. There is so much rejection and so many unexpected tiny cuts to your confidence and determination. It seems like successes are so rare and fleeting.

Yet, when you gather a group of other artists around you — and it doesn’t even have to be in your own art — you have strength in numbers. Screenwriters, poets, musicians, visual artists and audio artists are all fighting the good fight. When they are your friends though… you can rejoice in the battles they win as well. There have been so many days when I have tried to convince myself that the work is pointless. Then I stumble on new work by friends, an essay that guts me, a song that takes my breath away, a cartoon that I can’t stop turning over in my mind and I’m inspired again. You all know who you are. I can barely articulate how grateful I am that your work keeps me going.

I am even more grateful when a friend in another genre collaborates with my work and the resulting collision takes me somewhere new and at a breathless pace. Friendship should be a journey, but I love it best when its an adventure.

So I’m not ashamed to say that I wept when I listened to the surprise recording Xe Sands sent me last night. She is like listening to my subconscious only without the filters. When Xe reads my writing, I find myself holding my breath, hearing not just what I wrote, but what I meant and didn’t quite admit to myself.

I thought it would be so much easier to write once I got home and when it wasn’t I thought it would be easier when I settled and when it wasn’t then maybe when I had some work and didn’t have to worry as much about money and when it still wasn’t easier I had to admit that it just doesn’t get any easier.

I’m barely writing, but Xe reminded me that every little bit counts if you make it count. Listen to her read, I think you’ll understand what I’m saying. I’m suddenly not just grateful to be home, but for all of you.